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                               News & Views Monday 27th October to Sunday 2nd November 2014

Leeds No Borders - Anti-Deportation Campaigns October Update

Rosemary was finally released out of Yarl's Wood and is now in Leeds

Michel has won his fight to continue his Masters despite Home Office trying to threaten him earlier this year. Such unnecessary stress on him & his family and a huge waste of money and time. Thanks to everyone who supported his campaign :)Margret, a lesbian activist from Uganda had their flight cancelled and will be released from Yarl's Wood shortly. Huge thanks to everyone who campaigned!

Genevieve was finally released from Yarl's Wood to be reunited with her daughter and husband at last.

Deborah's flight was cancelled! She now is out of Yarl's Wood & back with her friends in Portsmouth.

Florence was released from Yarl's Wood and is now back with her friends in Leeds.

Funeka just rang to say she has lodged a judicial review so her forced removal tonight is now Cancelled.

Sibongile's Flight Was Cancelled, she was released from Yarl's Wood and is now back with her family in Leeds. Big thanks to everyone who put pressure on Virgin & Home Office. Shut down Yarl's Wood! Freedom of Movement for All!

Elizabeth & her kids got their flight cancelled and were released from detention. They are back home in Leeds and the kids back in school.

Josephine's flight was cancelled, she is out of detention.

http://leedsnoborders.wordpress.com/campaign-updates/


Britain's Immigration System in Chaos, MPs' Report Reveals
Evidence of waste and poor management within BritainÕs immigration system has been laid bare by a parliamentary report which reveals that failed IT systems are to cost up to £1bn while officials cannot find 50,000 rejected asylum seekers. The Commons public accounts committee (PAC) also discloses that 11,000 asylum seekers in the UK have been waiting for at least seven years to hear whether they can stay and that officials have still not resolved 29,000 asylum applications dating back to at least 2007. The highly critical MPsÕ report, published a few hours after the Home Office defended its decision to end British support for search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean, will increase pressure on David Cameron and his party over the handling of migration.
Read more: The Guardian, 20/10/14


Early Day Motion 408: Escalation Of Violence In Yemen
That this House deplores the recent escalation of violence in Yemen, where 250 people have died in clashes over the last few days; acknowledges warnings from Yemen's ambassador to the UK, Abdullah al-Radhi, that the country is at risk of civil war; notes that local al-Qaeda groups have declared support for ISIL, whom the UK is currently targeting in Iraq; further notes Yemen's dangerous growth of Jihadist movements; and hopes that the international community will continue to remain focused on Yemen's growing aid and development needs.

Sponsor: Keith Vaz - House of Commons: 28.10.2014


Justice for Jimmy Mubenga - Join the'Call' to Support

9.30am, Monday 3rd November
Central Crown Court (Old Bailey)
London EC4M 7EH

Four years after Mr Mubenga was unlawfully killed by three G4S guards: Stuart Tribelnig, Terry Hughes and Colin Kaler, they are to face manslaughter charges at the Old Bailey. The trial is expected to run for three months. It is crucial for all interested parties to attend and fill the gallery to show that public outrage about Mr Mubenga's murder has never gone away, and to make sure the CPS mounts a real prosecution, not a sham trial. Anyone assaulting or abusing people in detention or being deported, must be prosecuted. If companies like G4S get away with abuse and killing, others will know they are above the law.

The fact that the CPS dragged their heels in charging the guards, and so far has declined to charge G4S with corporate manslaughter, has enabled the company to whitewash it's sordid business, get further contracts – including running services for vulnerable people -- and act with impunity. Members of the All African Women's Group, a self-help group of asylum seekers some of whom attended the inquest and plan to attend these hearings, say: "The family has suffered terribly. No one should have to endure that. What happened to Jimmy could have happened to any of us; a number of us have suffered assaults in detention and violent deportations. Unless those abusing asylum seekers – women, children and men fleeing genocide, war and rape – are stopped, all our lives are at risk."

Attend the trial, and let your networks know about it and G4S's crimes

Organized by 'Women of Colour Global Women's Strike'


Illegal Immigrants (Criminal Sanctions) Bill
Would make it a criminal offence to be an illegal immigrant in this country. At the moment, people can come here with impunity: they can come into this country as an illegal immigrant, try their luck and do their best to give it a good shot. Unfortunately, as we have seen in recent years, far too many people are successful at giving it a shot. They come into the country and if they get caught the worst thing that can happen to them is they will be kicked out, but, given all the human rights legislation we have, they would have to be particularly unlucky for that to happen. There is absolutely nothing in place to give any real, meaningful deterrent to prevent people from giving it a go in the first place. My hon. Friend is trying, rightly, to provide a real, proper, meaningful disincentive for anybody who tries to come into this country illegally by making it a criminal offence that can carry a sentence of imprisonment.

I am not naive enough to imagine that this Bill will, at once, clear up the mass problem this country has with illegal immigration. There is an awful lot we need to do. We need to get ourselves out of the European Union for starters and get back control of our own borders. We need to have much better controls over who is coming into the country, including knowing whether they have any criminal convictions. We also need to get rid of all the human rights legislation that stops people being deported when they are illegal immigrants.

My hon. Friend's modest Bill makes it clear that being an illegal immigrant in this country should be a criminal offence and that a meaningful deterrent of a prison sentence should go with it. That may play a small part in deterring people from trying to enter this country illegally, and on that basis I commend the Bill to the House. As the Bill be now been read a Second time it is ordered to be resumed on Friday 7th November.
Source Hansard: 24 Oct 2014 : Column 1225


Early Day Motion 397: Deportation Of Mr Liaquat Ali
That this House opposes the imminent deportation from the UK to Pakistan of Pakistani citizen Mr Liaquat Ali, because it is believed that his life will be in danger as he is highly likely to be targeted by anti-Shia militants, due among other things to his faith and ethnicity; notes Mr Ali's very high political profile as a political activist in the UK as a promoter of Hazara interests and founder of the Hazara United Movement, and as editor of an internet television channel which has brought about electronic threats to his life, including letters delivered to his parents' house in Pakistan; appreciates that, based on these and other facts put forward in his asylum claim to the UK Border Agency (UKBA), there exists a very real risk of persecution for a Convention reason and treatment contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights if he were to return to Pakistan; and calls on the Government urgently to make strong representations to UKBA in relation to this very serious case.
Sponsor: Jeremy Corbyn, House of Commons: 24.10.2014


UNHCR Latest Position on Forced Returns to Iraq & Syria

Syria: Moratorium on Forced Returns and Consider Sur Place Claims
As the situation in Syria is likely to remain uncertain for the near future, UNHCR welcomes the fact that several Governments have taken measures to suspend the forcible return of nationals or habitual residents of Syria, including those whose asylum claims have been rejected. Such measures should remain in place until further notice. UNHCR also considers that it would not be appropriate to return nationals or habitual residents of Syria to neighbouring and non-neighbouring countries in the region of Syria. In some cases, such return may not be safe for the individuals concerned, and it may be impossible for their (specific) needs to be met. More broadly, however, UNHCR considers that States, by refraining from forced returns to neighbouring countries and countries in the region, would both acknowledge the significant contribution of these States to the protection and assistance of those who have fled Syria and express international solidarity with them, recognizing that the very large majority of persons having fled Syria is being hosted in the region and that only a very small percentage of Syrians has reached countries further afield.

Published on Refworld, 27/10/14
http://www.refworld.org/docid/544e446d4.html



Urges States Not to Forcibly Return Persons Originating From Iraq
As the situation in Iraq remains highly fluid and volatile, and since all parts of the country are reported to have been affected, directly or indirectly, by the ongoing crisis, UNHCR urges States not to forcibly return persons originating from Iraq until tangible improvements in the security and human rights situation have occurred. In the current circumstances, many persons fleeing Iraq are likely to meet the 1951 Convention criteria for refugee status. When, in the context of the adjudication of an individual case of a person originating from Iraq, 1951 Convention criteria are found not to apply, broader refugee criteria as contained in relevant regional instruments or complementary forms of protection are likely to apply. In the current circumstances, with massive new internal displacement coupled with a large-scale humanitarian crisis, mounting sectarian tensions and reported access restrictions, particularly into the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, UNHCR does in principle not consider it appropriate for States to deny persons from Iraq international protection on the basis of the applicability of an internal flight or relocation alternative. Depending on the profile of the individual case, exclusion considerations may need to be examined.

Published on Refworld, 27/10/14
http://www.refworld.org/docid/544e4b3c4.html


Gay Asylum Seekers Face 'Intrusive' Sexual Questions
More than a tenth of Home Office interviews of gay and lesbian asylum seekers include Òintrusive or unsatisfactoryÓ questions about their sex lives, according to an investigation by the chief inspector of borders and immigration. John Vine said the Home Office must eradicate unacceptable questioning in asylum interviews that query the validity of same-sex relationships or were likely to elicit sexually explicit responses.

Vine was asked by the home secretary, Theresa May, to investigate the handling of gay and lesbian asylum claims after the Observer published extracts of an asylum interview this year, in which a Home Office caseworker had asked sexually explicit questions. ÒNone of the interviews in our sample contained sexually explicit questions of the type highlighted in the Observer article. We did, however, find some questions which, we considered, invited applicants to give sexually explicit responses that were likely to be irrelevant to their asylum claims,Ó said Vine.
Read more: Alan Travis, Guardian, 23/10/14


More Respect, Less Criminalization For Migrant Workers
The lack of political will to stand up for migrant workers' rights remains the greatest challenge to the protection of this "very vulnerable" group of human beings, an independent United Nations expert affirmed today. Speaking before the General Assembly's Third Committee, which reviews the work accomplished by the UN's independent human rights experts, Francisco Carrion Mena, Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families (CMW), warned that some Member States "mistakenly consider border areas as exempt from human rights obligations. States' legitimate interests in securing their borders and exercising immigration control cannot override their obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of all persons in all areas under their jurisdiction, regardless of their migration status," Mr. Carrion Mena said as he presented his annual report to the Committee.
Read more: UN News, 24/10/14


Last updated 30 October, 2014